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The 2019 Summit

Climate Change and National Security

March 1-3, 2019

In 2019, 30 graduate students from across the country came together for the first-ever Inter-Policy School Summit, a conference that seeks to propose rigorous and tangible solutions to some of the most pressing global issues today.

The Inter-Policy School Summit collaborated with the Aspen Institute’s Energy & Environmental Program to carefully select an actionable policy challenge that draws from its existing research projects. The project selected for the 2019 Summit focused on a new field with increasing relevance: City Resilience and Climate Change. We considered the linkage between climate change and adverse health repercussions, how clean energy technology both enhances and degrades national security, possible ways that climate change will drive conflict, and effects of climate change on inland Migration, human health, and geopolitics.

Gallery Pics


Partners and Sponsors


Speakers & Experts

Joining Minds for Global Impact

Keynote Speaker 

Nicholas Percoco

Entrepreneur | Ethical hacker

Cyber and National Security Expert

TEDx Speaker 

Chief Security Officer of Uptake

Nick Percoco is Uptake’s Chief Information Security Officer. With more than 20 years of information security expertise, Percoco is adept at developing and leading security programs in this ever-evolving connected threat landscape. He co-founded the “I am The Cavalry” movement, a highly regarded grassroots hacker organization that is focused on issues where computer security intersects public safety and human life, and founded SpiderLabs, the ethical hacking test lab that contributed to Trustwave’s growth. Nick was the creator of THOTCON, a growing annual Chicago hacking conference. Nick has served as a media spokesperson on CNN, Fox News, CNET and Forbes. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Illinois State University.


CEO, Cambridge Global Advisors

Jonah Force Hill is a fellow in New America's Cybersecurity Initiative and a policy specialist in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he works on a variety of global technology policy issues. Within the Department of Commerce, he serves as the executive secretariat for the Department's "Internet Policy Task Force" and was the principal author of two of the Department's most important technology policy strategies, the "International Cybersecurity Engagement Priorities" report and "Enabling Growth and Innovation in the Digital Economy." He holds an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MTS from the Harvard Divinity School, and a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Will Gossin

Senior Associate Director of Social Entrepreneurship & Social Venture Funding, Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Speakers & Experts

Joining Minds for Global Impact

Keynote Speaker 

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Sharon Burke

New America Foundation

Senior Advisor, International Security Program and Resource Security Program

The Honorable Sharon E. Burke directs the Resource Security group at New America, which looks at the intersection of security, prosperity, and natural resources. She also serves as a senior advisor to the organization and the Future of War project.

Before joining New America, Burke served in the Obama administration as the assistant secretary of defense for operational energy, a new office that worked to improve the energy security of U.S. military operations. Prior to her service at DoD, Burke held a number of senior U.S. government positions, including at the Department of State in the George W. Bush administration, and was a vice president and senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. She attended Williams College and Columbia University, where she was a Zuckerman and International fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs. Burke publishes widely and is on a number of boards, including for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory


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Marilyn Shapley

Mercy Corps
Senior Policy Advisor

Jake Braun teaches cybersecurity policy at The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. He is also Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Global Advisors. He has over 15 years of experience in the development and implementation of strategic direction for complex, high profile national security initiatives. Prior to joining Cambridge Global, Mr. Braun was the Director of White House and Public Liaison for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Previously, he served as the National Deputy Field Director to the 2008 Obama for America Campaign. In addition to his roles at the Harris School of Public Policy and at Cambridge Global, Mr. Braun currently serves as a fellow at the Council on CyberSecurity and is a strategic advisor to the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon on cybersecurity. Mr. Braun holds an MA in International Relations from Troy St. University, an MA in Education from National-Louis University in Chicago, and a BA in Philosophy from Loyola University of Chicago.

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Amir Jina

University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
Assistant Professor

Amir Jina is an Assistant Professor at Harris Public Policy. An environmental and development economist, his research focuses on the role of the environment and environmental change in the shaping how societies develop. He uses applied economic techniques combined with methods from climate science and remote sensing to understand the impacts of climate in both rich and poor countries, and has conducted fieldwork related to climate change adaptation with communities in India, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Uganda.

Prior to University of Chicago, Amir was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley where he worked on the economic analysis of the Risky Business initiative, an independent assessment of the economic risks posed by a changing climate in the U.S. He is a founding member of the Climate Impact Lab - an interdisciplinary collaboration examining the socioeconomic impacts of climate change around the world. Amir was also a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Economics Department of University of Chicago, and a Senior Fellow at the Energy Policy Institute of Chicago (EPIC).

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Theoretical physicist, William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, as well as in the Enrico Fermi Institute and the University of Chicago Harris Public Policy. 

Robert Rosner served as Argonne National Laboratory’s Chief Scientist and Associate Laboratory Director for Physical, Biological and Computational Sciences (2002–2005), and was Argonne’s Laboratory Director from 2005 to 2009; he was the founding chair of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratory Directors’ Council (2007–2009). His degrees are all in physics (BA, Brandeis University; PhD, Harvard University). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, and to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (as a Foreign Member) in 2004; he is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Most of his scientific work has been related to fluid dynamics and plasma physics problems, as well as in applied mathematics and computational physics, especially in the development of modern high-performance computer simulation tools, with a particular interest in complex systems (ranging from astrophysical systems to nuclear fission reactors). Within the past few years, he has been increasingly involved in energy technologies, and in the public policy issues that relate to the development and deployment of various energy production and consumption technologies, including especially nuclear energy, the electrification of transport, and energy use in urban environments. He is the founding director of the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), located at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and Booth School of Business.

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